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Not all glow-in-the-dark machine embroidery threads are created equal.

Party favor t-shirts with glow-in-the-dark thread.
Party favor t-shirts with glow-in-the-dark thread.

Why is it that I feel compelled to create ridiculous, personalized, embroidered party favors for my kids parties?  As if I don’t have enough projects.  Fortunately with this last one, I can at least say that I learned a valuable lesson – albeit the hard way: not all glow-in-the dark embroidery threads are created equal.

I had been intrigued by the notion of embroidering with glow-in-the dark thread for a while so when my daughter decided to have her birthday party at the glow-in-the-dark golf course – how could I resist NOT stitching something for the attendees in glow-in-the dark thread?

My plan was to keep in simple.  I created a straight-foward 1-color personalized design for the t-shirts that I purchased for next to nothing at JoAnns, Then I started cranking out the shirts.  Everything was going fine… until – I RAN OUT OF THREAD!   Normally this is not such a big deal – but it was the Sunday morning of the party and the fabric store where I bought the original glow-in-the-dark thread was closed.  UGH.   So I ran to JoAnns as soon as it opened and was surprised/thrilled that they carried it.  When I got back home – I carried on stitching the t-shirt that I had left in process on my machine.  Finally – I finished all the shirts.

Fortunately – the girls loved their t-shirts and immediately put them on over the clothes to wear to the glow-in-the dark golf course.  But when we got to the venue I was surprised/horrified to see that some of the shirts glowed and some of them didn’t.  And the shirt that was stitched half with the original glow-in-the-dark thread and half with the JoAnns brand half-glowed.  Interesting.

I have learned my lesson when it comes to embroidery with glow-in-the-dark thread and won’t be buying the JoAnns brand anymore.  Fortunately eight-year-old girls are not tough critics and really couldn’t have cared less.

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Getting ready to appliqué with glow-in-the-dark thread. Hot tips!

A few weeks ago I bought some glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread.  And, while I have had lot of IDEAS about what I might do with it… (astrological symbol t-shirt), I have never actually used the glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread.  I have worked with – or at least tried to work with – metallic embroidery thread and found it to be a major pain in the ass.  So, I thought, before I get started – I would check in with the experts and see if I could get any pointers.  And I am so glad I did.

Here’s what my Facebook embroidery friends had to say:

“Treat it like normal thread.  But – don’t iron it! It melts with the heat of the iron!”

This is great to know – because since I was thinking of using the glow-in-the-dark thread on a Christmas gift – I might have ironed the t-shirt prior to wrapping to make it look a bit more presentable.

Another friend offered this suggestion.

“If there was a problem with [the thread] breaking try using a needle for metallics.”

Oh wait – there are special needles for sewing with metallic threads?  Again – good to know – maybe it would have worked a little bit better had I used the proper needle last time I tried to embroider with metallic thread!

My Facebook embroidery and appliqué friends also had a lot of project ideas in mind for ways in which they planned to use or had used their glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread.

“Gonna do a Ghostbusters emblem on a sweatshirt for my son and I thought it would be fun to do the ghost in glow in the dark.”

“[Glow-in-the-dark thread is] great fun! Kids love their names on pillow cases, and Halloween and fireworks designs lend themselves well. Have fun!!”

“I have used it and love it! it is also great for stars and satin outlines”

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the tips. I’m ready to give it a try.